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Alumni Call Board August 2020

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DAS FRANK – (BEN ELLIOTT BFA ’02)

Congratulations for having his Poster Positive Propaganda 1 from the COVID-19 Positive Propaganda Series selected to be acquired into the Library of Congress.  Ben feels incredibly honored and would like to thank everyone who helped spread this important message.  Also in July, DAS FRANK won the BEST POSTER at the VEGAS MOVIE AWARDS for his poster for THE REPOSSESSION coming to Amazon on October 16.


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MICKI SEAY O’CARROLL

Micki’s company Scattered-Brains was featured in the July edition of STUFF_RVA’s newsletter showcasing her Jewelry and portrait art work.


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KEVIN INOUYE  (MFA ‘12)

Kevin announced that his second book, The Screen Combat Handbook; A Practical Guide for Filmmakers was published last spring by Routledge Press. Kevin is currently an Assistant Professor of Movement, Acting & Stage Combat at Case Western University.


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MELISSA HURT (MFA ’03)

Melissa announced that her new book I Am The Jungle:  A Yoga Adventure, takes kids through a flow of poses inspired by the natural world. It includes a guide for parents and teachers. 


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LISSA GRAHAM-SCHNEIDER (MFA ’93)

Lissa has written several children’s plays based on the Cinderella Legend from various cultures including Algonquin, Polish, Russian, Chinese and Kenyan versions. During her sabbatical in 2019 she researched the legend of the strong women who didn’t need to be saved. Currently a children’s theatre in Alaska is interested in Cinderface (Algonquin) and Vasilisa (Russian). Congratulations!


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IN MEMORIUM: RANDY STRAWDERMAN (BFA ’71)

Randy Strawderman, of Midlothian, Virginia left the stage for the last time on August 5, 2020. Randy was well known in the Richmond Theatre community for writing, choreographing and directing in local and national theatre. He co-wrote and directed Red Hot & Cole which premiered at Hanover Tavern, Barksdale Theatre and later in Los Angeles. 


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Swift Creek Mill Theatre endures flood damage

Our hearts go out to local Swift Creek Mill Theatre and their team! Last weekend’s heavy rains caused terrible flooding and damage. Artistic Director Tom Width calls it “the worst I have seen in my 44 years at the Mill.”


Come on, people! We know there’s stuff going on out there!

An award?
A new job?
A casting?
A new baby?
Retirement?

Share your news with fellow alumni. Email Jerry Williams (jerry@tvjerry.com) or Liz Hopper (elizhopper12@gmail.com).



Compiled by Liz Hopper (Emeritus Faculty) and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the August 2020 Theatre Alumni Newsletter

July 2020 Alum Call Board

Bernadette Hamilton-Grady (MFA ’85)

She’s currently a professor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and presented her research and one-woman show on Pola Negri in Warsaw and Lipno, Poland this year. She was interviewed on Polish radio and her presentation was featured on Polish Cable TV. She was also awarded the key to the city of Lipno at the Pola Negri Film Festival. Congrats, Bernadette!


Peterson Townsend (BFA ’01)

Peterson Townsend (far left in photo above) performed in the Met’s production of Gershwin’s folk opera The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess as part of the 2019-20 season. The live production ran last September 2019 to February 2020, BUT you can also watch it live in HD! The production aired on PBS last weekend as part of PBS’ Great Performances at the Met (check PBS for additional streaming options). You can watch the opera through a subscription to Met Opera on Demand (of course, there’s an app). Well done, Peterson!


JJ Johnson (BFA ’97)

Johnson adds playwright to his list of talents with WANNABE, which he describes as a “semi-autobiograpical play about growing up Black in the mostly White town of Front Royal, VA.” 4615 Theatre Company produced WANNABE as a Zoom performance, which just premiered this past Thursday July 26th. Congrats JJ!


Brittany Diliberto (BFA 2007)

Brittany and her husband own their own photography studio based out of Arlington, VA— Bee Two Sweet Photography. They recently started the portrait series “Better Together” to raise funds for organizations who are fighting for racial justice and equality. Their efforts have raised over $3500 so far, and they plan to keep the project going. If you’re in the DC/Maryland area, check it out!


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In memoriam: Richmond theatre photographer Eric Dobbs

Eric Dobbs, a longtime Richmond photographer and staple to the local theatre community, passed away this summer at the age of 71. Eric will be missed by many. He was well known for his kindness and his ability to put people at ease behind the camera. We’ve seen many alumni posting old headshots taken by Eric and describing how lovely Eric was to work with.

His daughter Marilee may say it best:

Throughout his time on this Earth, Eric was a dedicated father to his “Supreme Being” Marilee, a fountain of knowledge, and a photographer who not only was the “go-to” for headshots but also a historian and documentarian of the recent history of the Richmond Theatre. Eric was an icon in the theatre community and his presence in the theatre was felt. Even if he was not photographing the proceedings, you knew he was in the audience by his infectious laughter. The world is an emptier place without that laugh.

Marilee Billingsley

Come on, people! We know there’s stuff going on out there!

An award?
A new job?
A casting?
A new baby?
Retirement?

Share your news with fellow alumni. Email Jerry Williams (jerry@tvjerry.com) or Liz Hopper (elizhopper12@gmail.com).



Compiled by Liz Hopper and Jerry Williams for the July 2020 Theatre Alumni Newsletter